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Child Safety Online must be a priority. 14 organisations launch campaign to stop the spread of child sexual abuse material online

July 27th, 2022

We are proud to launch the Child Safety Online Now (#ChildSafetyOnlineNow) campaign in partnership with 14 organisations dedicated to protecting children’s safety and rights online.

the spread of Child sexual abusive materials is fastgrowing

The campaign supports the European Commission’s proposal to tackle the rampant and growing spread of child sexual abuse online. In 2021, 85 million pieces of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) were reported online. This is a growth of 35% from 2020. The European Commission's proposal aims to make it mandatory for technology platforms to detect, report, and remove CSAM. This will have a huge impact in protecting children, preserving children’s privacy, and reducing the devastating harm this content has on survivors of child sexual abuse. The proposal also aims to establish an EU Centre that will be responsible for coordinating actions between online service providers and law enforcement agencies to end child sexual abuse online while also providing support to child victims of sexual abuse in the EU. A crucial element of the proposal asks online service providers to always report cases of grooming, a vital measure to prevent harm before it happens. 

With the #ChildSafetyOnlineNow campaign, Missing Children Europe, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, ECPAT, Brave Movement, Canadian Centre for Child Protection, Internet Watch Foundation, NSPCC, End Violence Against Children, Thorn, 5 Rights Foundation, Terre des Hommes, WeProtect Global Alliance, Inhope, Child Helpline International aim to raise awareness of the pressing need to protect children online and support the European Commission proposal to both prevent and combat child sexual abuse online. 

Children are spending more and more time online through all manner of devices and platforms; the proposal looks to protect children wherever they are so they can live, learn, and thrive in their digital worlds without the threat of online child sexual abuse. The campaign includes a hero video, website, and social media content. The website and social media content is available in EN, FR, IT, ES, DE & NL. 

THE SCALE AND SCOPE OF THE CHALLENGE 

  • 1 in 5 users of digital services in the EU is a child.
  • 62% of all reported CSAM in 2021 was hosted in Europe.
  • In 2021, the Internet Watch Foundation found child sexual abuse material online every two minutes. 
  • Public polling shows widespread public support (68%) for the use of technical tools to identify child sexual abuse material and for the European Union to introduce legislative change to help improve child safety.

Valérie Ceccherini, Secretary General, Terre des Hommes International Federation,:

“At Terre des Hommes, we are working directly with children to protect and empower them, including victims of sexual abuse and exploitation online. We talked about this issue with children from 10 countries across Asia, Europe and Latin America and they asked for better platform designs to keep them safe, more visible rules and easier reporting mechanisms. In Italy, the last 2021 survey conducted by Terre des Hommes, reveals that 7 out of 10 teenagers do not feel safe when surfing the web, and particularly girls who are frightened by the risks of experiencing harassment and abuse. These are difficult to detect and unfortunately also to punish. Our research and experience show the importance of setting up strong safety requirements and accountability for tech companies to ensure their platforms are safe for children. We welcome the European Commission's new proposal which will require tech companies to take measures to better protect children against sexual abuse online. We strongly support this campaign and invite everyone to join it to make the internet a safer space for all children.”

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